Five Books I Bought Recently / Why I’m Excited to Read Them

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while since I last posted. These past few months, all of my time has been sucked up by school and work, making it very difficult to put together blog posts. But I’m finally finding the time to do so– Book blogging is something I love, and its recent absence from my life has been hard to cope with. I’ve missed it so incredibly much, and I’m happy to be back, especially with summer break right around the corner.

So, with that out of the way, let me update you on some of the recent book purchases I’ve made!

Working at a bookstore, it’s practically impossible to come home from a shift without a new book in my hands (more often than not, a FEW new books). But can you blame me for wanting to take advantage of that juicy employee discount? Exactly– you can’t. So, allow me to show you five of the exciting new books that I’ve purchased within the past few weeks!

I first caught wind of this one when it was announced as one of Barnes & Noble’s monthly book club picks. I read the synopsis, was delighted to discover that it sounded RIGHT up my alley, and quickly bought myself a copy. From what I gathered from the synopsis, it’s essentially an analysis of the sexist, misogynistic tropes present in Greek Mythology. The author unpacks various Greek myths and explains the ways in which female figures are pitted against one another and blamed for the actions of their male counterparts. As a long-time lover of Greek Mythology, this feminist twist sounds so intriguing! I’ll be sure to update you all on my thoughts once I dive into the book.

Her Body and Other Parties is a collection of short stories that encapsulate the dangers of being a woman in a world that caters to men (I’m just now realizing that it sounds very similar to Pandora’s Jar in that sense). The novel is shelved as horror, and it even has a spot on my coworker’s “Strange and Unsettling Stories” display… So, I have a feeling this might not be a great book to read once the sun goes down. But, nevertheless, I’m still very much looking forward to reading it and seeing how the author portrays the terrifying side of the female experience.

I know, I know. With the insane amount of social media hype it’s gotten, it’s crazy that I still haven’t read this book. But better late than never, right? While I’m not totally sure what It Ends With Us is about, I’ve heard that it explores the abuse and manipulation of a toxic relationship, and that many readers felt deeply moved after finishing it. I must confess, I’m more than a little apprehensive about this book because if it doesn’t live up to the hype, I’ll be crushed! But I’ve enjoyed Colleen Hoover’s work before (Verity has been one of my favorite reads of 2022 thus far!), so I have hope that I’ll love It Ends With Us as well.

Another social media sensation I’ve yet to read: The Love Hypothesis. I guess it’s finally time to give into the BookTok hype!

I’ve heard some interesting things about this one… Apparently it started out as a Reylo fan-fiction? Huh. Well, I’ve been longing for a light, fluffy romance for a while now, and I’ve read nothing but positive reviews for this book. A promising sign, I hope! I think I’ll pick it up at the end of May and read it between final exams… I’m going to need something fun and entertaining to help me cope with all that stress!

I absolutely LOVE reimaginings of female-focused Greek myths– Circe by Madeline Miller and Ariadne by Jennifer Saint are two of my favorites, and it is my hope that Helen of Troy, a retelling of the woman whose face “launched a thousand ships”, will join that list! I feel like Helen of Troy is really only remembered for her beauty, and thus her ability to drive men to violence. It’ll be interesting to see how Margaret George develops Helen’s character and (hopefully) makes her out to be more than just a beautiful prize sought after by men. Truthfully, I think Helen of Troy has the potential to give readers a complex, multi-faceted Greek heroine in the same ways Circe and Ariadne did… Let’s hope I’m right!

That’s it for now! But I’m sure I’ll be back with another book haul in no time. After all, I have absolutely no self-restraint when it comes to spending money on books.

If you’ve read any of the books listed above, please leave a comment letting me know what you thought of them! I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading– Until next time,

The Life’s a Beach Book Tag

Since it’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere, I thought it would be fun to participate in a summery, beachy book tag!

The “Life’s a Beach” Book Tag was originally made by Lefty Reads, so creation credits go to her! During summertime, I go to the beach constantly, so this tag felt like an appropriate one to do. Let’s go ahead and get started!

A book that stuck with you long after you finished reading it

Amazon.com: Mockingjay (Hunger Games) (9780545663267): Collins, Suzanne:  Books

Every single time I re-read this series, I go into Mockingjay knowing that it’s going to leave me with a devastating book hangover that will last for days, if not weeks. As much as The Hunger Games is mocked for being a cringey YA dystopian series that we all obsessed over as teenagers, it truly is, in my opinion, a masterpiece. It leaves you with so much to think about, and that’s one I the things I love most about it. Thought provoking, emotional books like Mockingjay are always the ones that stick with me the longest, and I know a lot of other readers who feel the same way!

A book that burned you

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens burned me REAL bad. I picked it up thinking I would love it, but sadly, I ended up absolutely hating it. The insta-love between the two main characters had me rolling my eyes, and the plot moved at a painfully slow pace! A huge shame, since I had such high hopes for this book!

A book that calms you down after a long day

Amazon.com: Tweet Cute: A Novel (9781250237323): Lord, Emma: Books

Humorous YA contemporary novels like Tweet Cute are always able to calm me down after a rough day! This book has it all: amazing characters, hilarious banter, adorable romance, witty writing… the list goes on and on! Tweet Cute even managed to make me laugh out loud a couple times as I was reading it, which is a pretty rare occurrence for me! Humor has always been my favorite way to manage stress, so it’s no wonder I absolutely loved this book! If you’re looking for a charming, funny read, you definitely need to pick it up!

A book with a pretty, summery cover

Island Affair (Keys to Love): Oliveras, Priscilla: 9781420150179:  Amazon.com: Books

I haven’t read this book, nor do I really know what it’s about, but it’s been on my radar for quite a while, and JUST LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS COVER!!! Major summer vibes! I absolutely love the beautiful tropical flowers and the adorable humming birds! So cute!

A book that is everywhere

Amazon.com: The Prison Healer (9780358434559): Noni, Lynette: Books

This book follows me EVERYWHERE! There’s no escape! It’s always popping up in my Instagram and Goodreads feeds, reminding me how badly I need to get off my butt and go read it! It sounds really interesting, and I’ve seen so many glowing reviews for it, so I have a feeling I’ll enjoy it!

A book with wonderful characters

Amazon.com: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth Duology, 1)  (9781250307781): Grace, Adalyn: Books

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop gushing about the incredible characters in All the Stars and Teeth! They’re all so unique and well developed, and I was able to connect with each of them in different ways. And, despite the fact that they exist in a fantasy setting, they all exhibit real, human struggles, making them SO relatable. If you haven’t read All the Stars and Teeth yet, you really need to check it out… You won’t be disappointed!

A book you absolutely gulped down

Amazon.com: Sing Me Forgotten (9781335147943): Olson, Jessica S.: Books

There are so many books I could use for this prompt, but the one that came to mind first was Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson! There is literally never a dull moment in this fast-paced, addictive story, and trust me when I say that your eyes will be glued to the pages from start to finish!

A book you can’t wait to return to

The Lightning Thief | Disney Books | Disney Publishing Worldwide

I’ve been craving a Percy Jackson re-read for the longest time now, especially with the Disney+ TV show in the early stages of production! This is the series that really got me into reading, and it makes me feel so nostalgic for my childhood, since I read it when I was quite young. The characters in this series mean so much to me, and I can’t wait to reunite with them! I seriously need a re-read soon!

Summer 2021 TBR

Summer’s almost here, and I’m SUPER excited since it’s my favorite season of the year! I love the warm weather, cool drinks, sun dresses, beach visits, and, most importantly, the endless time I have to read! Being on summer break is the best, because it’s the portion of the year where I have the most free time. This means that I can spend hours each day catching up on my reading, preferably by the pool or beach. 😉

There are so many great books I want to dive into this summer, and I can’t wait to share them all with you. Let’s go ahead and get started!

A majority of the books on my Summer ’21 TBR are romance novels, particularly rom-coms! Summer is arguably the best season for romance… What could be better than lounging by the pool with a fun romance book in one hand, and a tropical summery drink in the other? Out of all the romance novels presented below, I think the one’s I’m most excited to pick up are Kiss My Cupcake, People We Meet on Vacation, and Tweet Cute!

I also have a couple of great contemporaries lined up for the season ahead! One of them is An Emotion of Great Delight, written by Tahereh Mafi, one of my all time favorite authors! Tahereh’s writing has never disappointed me, so I can already tell that this book is going to become a new favorite of mine. Her previous contemporary novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea, was SO powerful, and I have a feeling this one will be too! I was lucky enough to be sent a physical arc of it (CRAZY, right???), so I’m planning on starting it very soon!

Fantasy is easily my favorite genre, so you can bet that this summer will be full of many heart-pounding novels full of magic, royalty, mythical creatures, and more! In fact, I’ll probably end up reading many more fantasy books in addition to the ones listed below, since there are so many more I want to get my hands on! A few fantasy books (on this list) that I’m especially hyped for are Realm Breaker, These Hollow Vows, and A Touch of Darkness.

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve enjoyed a good ol’ mystery novel so I’m planning on reading quite a few of them within the next couple of months! The one I’m most looking forward to reading is definitely House of Hollow. I’ve heard that it also contains fantastical/mythical elements, and what could be better than a fantasy-mystery mash-up?

Here are a few other books I’m planning on reading this summer that didn’t fall into any of the categories listed above. They all sound super good, so I have high hopes for all of them!

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I’m not sure if I’ll pick up every single one of these books by the end of summer, but I’m going to try to get to as many of them as I can!

Have you read any of the books listed above? If so, let me know what you thought of them down below in the comment section!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of spring!

Until next time,

Sequels I Can’t Wait to Read

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week.

As you might’ve gathered from the title of this post, today I’m going to gushing about all of the sequels that I’m DYING to read! I’ve been meaning to publish a sequels-related post for some time now, so trust me when I say that this list is long overdue.

One of my reading goals for 2021 is to stop leaving so many series unfinished, so naturally, there are quite a few sequels on my TBR. Some of these books are ones that will be coming out in the near future, while others are back-list books that I can’t wait to devour!

Let’s go ahead and dive right in!

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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander, Series Book #2)

Dragonfly in Amber: A Novel (Outlander): Gabaldon, Diana: 9780440215622:  Amazon.com: Books

I finished Outlander last month, which was a big accomplishment for me… That beast of a book is over 800 pages long! But thankfully, the intimidating length ended up being nothing to worry about, since the novel was absolutely phenomenal! I’m very excited to see where Claire and Jamie Fraser’s story goes next in book two, Dragonfly in Amber (which is even LONGER than Outlander!). In preparation for Dragonfly in Amber, I’m currently watching Season 1 of the Outlander TV show, which I’m enjoying quite a lot so far. The show is beautifully filmed, and I’m finding that it follows the events of the book pretty closely, which is a big relief! Watching the show is getting me super eager to start Dragonfly in Amber; Hopefully I’ll be able to pick it up sometime next month!

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The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash Series, Book #3)

The Crown of Gilded Bones - Jennifer L. Armentrout

The From Blood and Ash series has quickly become a new obsession of mine. I simply adore the characters, world-building, and romance, and I’m beyond excited to see how they’re further developed in book three of the series: The Crown of Gilded Bones. You can rest assured that I already have my copy of the book pre-ordered, and that I’ll be diving straight into it as soon as it arrives on my doorstep!

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Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Aurora Cycle Trilogy, Book #2)

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720926): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

Ever since I flew through Aurora Rising last December, all I’ve wanted to do is devour its sequel, Aurora Burning. The only thing that’s kept me from doing so is the knowledge that the final book in the series won’t be coming out until November… Womp, womp, womp. I’ll probably have to wait a little while longer until I start this book, or else I’ll forget everything that happened in it by the time book three comes out! But on the bright side, the cover and title for Aurora Cycle #3 will be released on the authors’ Instagram accounts TODAY! And I can hardly wait! I’ll be refreshing my Instagram feed every five seconds until the cover/title reveal is posted, lol. Does anyone have any guesses for what the title will be and who will be on the cover? I myself haven’t come up with any great guesses… Maybe Aurora Shining? Or Aurora Blazing? Or… Aurora Colliding???? As for who will be on the cover… I feel like it’ll be Scarlett or Finian!

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Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton Series, Book #4)

After hearing all the buzz about the Bridgerton TV show, I knew it was about time I read the book series! I finished The Duke and I, the first book in the series, a few weeks ago, and while it was a decent read, I personally didn’t think it was anything special. Then, about a week ago, I read The Viscount Who Loved Me, and let me tell you… IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! The writing was quick and witty, and the two main characters, Kate and Anthony, were so much fun to read about. Now, I’m about halfway through book three, An Offer From a Gentleman, and I’m enjoying it a lot! As soon as I finish that, I’ll move onto book four: Romancing Mister Bridgerton. I’m especially excited to read this installment in the series because it focuses on Penelope Featherington, a character who I am very intrigued by! I’m just so glad that I didn’t give up on this series after finding The Duke and I somewhat mediocre… Books two and three have proven to be much better, so hopefully I’ll be able to say the same about book four!

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Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie (Bone Grace Series, Book #2)

I buddy-read Bone Crier’s Moon with my friend a couple months ago, and we both really, really liked it. The magic system was so absorbing, and I loved the character dynamics! The sequel, Bone Crier’s Dawn, comes out at the end of the month, and it’s yet another book on this list that I have pre-ordered! After the jaw-dropping events of the last few chapters of Bone Crier’s Moon, I desperately need to know what will happen next! For that reason, I’ll definitely be diving into Bone Crier’s Dawn as soon as I possibly can. I’m counting down the days til March 30th… This book truly can’t come out soon enough!

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A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (Cursebreakers Series, Book #2)

I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely, the first book in this series, a pretty long time ago, so I’m probably due for a re-read before I pick up A Heart So Fierce and Broken. But regardless of that, I’m still very much looking forward to reading this sequel! From what I’ve gathered, it contains chapters written through the perspectives of not just Harper and Rhen, but Grey and Lia Mara as well! I absolutely love books written in multiple POVs, as long as the author is capable of juggling them all while still thoroughly developing each character. But I’m certain Brigid Kemmerer is up to the task! So far, her work has failed to disappoint me, so I’m sure A Heart So Fierce and Broken will be no exception!

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The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky Series, Book #2)

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Princess Will Save You last year, and I absolutely loved it! Unfortunately, though, reading an early copy of the book has made the wait for the sequel all the more agonizing! I’ve now been anxiously anticipating the publication of The Queen Will Betray You since May of 2020, but thankfully, release day is almost upon us! 3.5 months isn’t that long of a wait… right?

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Are any of these sequels on your TBR as well?

If they are, let me know! And feel free to tell me what other sequels you’re looking forwarding to reading, too!

Well, I suppose that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading this post!

Until next time,

My Least Favorite Reads of 2020

A few weeks ago, I published a list of my favorite reads of 2020, and I thought it’d be fun to do the same thing for my LEAST favorite reads of 2020! I know it’s already March, and that I should be leaving 2020 in the past (where it belongs), but venting about books I hated can be so cathartic… I couldn’t NOT post this list! While I didn’t read that many downright TERRIBLE books this year (which is a good thing), there were a couple that I really struggled to get through. And I’ve listed them all down below!

Please keep in mind that reading is completely subjective, and if a book you love is one of my least favorites, it’s totally okay! No one is “right” or “wrong” when it comes to reading, and that’s the beauty of it! We all have different tastes, and that should be celebrated!

So, with that being said, in no particular order, here are my least favorite reads of 2020!

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The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

The Betrothed by [Kiera Cass]

Like most people, I picked up The Betrothed because I loved The Selection, Kiera Cass’s most well known series. I was expecting a light, fluffy, and charmingly royal romance novel, but yikes… this book was simply horrible. The protagonist, Hollis, was about as interesting as stale bread, and the same thing can be said about literally every other character in the story. The plot was essentially non-existent, and the so called “romance” was very poorly developed. Such a let down from Kiera Cass!

Crave by Tracy Wolff

Crave (Crave Series Book 1) by [Tracy Wolff]

I was warned about how terrible this book is by many of my fellow readers, and oh, how I wish I had listened to them! Crave, in short, was a massive waste of time. It reads off like a sloppily put together Twilight fan fiction written by a thirteen year old. The main character is “not like other girls”, and her love interest is a grumpy, manipulative jerk… They both annoyed the heck out of me! I’ve heard that book two, Crush, is a lot better, but I doubt I’ll read it. If it’s even the slighest bit like Crave (and how could it not be?), I probably wouldn’t enjoy it. Maybe YA vampire fiction just isn’t for me!

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

Catherine House: A Novel by [Elisabeth Thomas]

This is another book that just felt sloppy to me. The writing was all over the place, and I had a lot of difficulty connecting with the characters. The ending was annoyingly open ended, and while the author might’ve intended for it to feel thought-provoking and powerful, it was just confusing and odd!

Ink in the Blood Kim Smejkal

Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology Book 1) by [Kim Smejkal]

I really, really loved the idea behind Ink in the Blood, but the execution failed to impress me. To be fair, I think this is a matter of personal taste. I found the writing style bland and boring, but I know that many people would disagree! And that’s okay! I’ll give credit where credit is due and say that I really enjoyed the magic system in this story, but sadly, that’s about it. The flat characters, slow pacing, and dull writing made Ink in the Blood beyond redemption for me.

Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston

Queen's Peril by [E. K. Johnston]

I’m a big Star Wars fan, so I was super excited to read this book! Unfortunately, though, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s supposed to be a prequel about Padmé’s backstory, but it didn’t add anything new or refreshing to her character arc! It was incredibly boring and uninteresting, which is such a shame, since I love Padmé! Fellow Star Wars lovers: I recommend sticking to the movies. This book isn’t worth the read!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens by [Margaret Rogerson]

An Enchantment of Ravens had the potential to be an incredible book, but it was ruined by a nasty case of insta-love! YUCK! The worst trope ever! There’s nothing worse than watching a seemingly intelligent female character completely lose her wits the second she meets her love interest. UGH. A lot of people compare this book to ACOTAR, and personally, I think that that’s an insult to Sarah J. Maas! ACOTAR is worlds better than this hot mess of a book!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game: A Novel by [Sally Thorne]

Meh. This book had a few enjoyable moments (most of which took place within the last 100 pages), but as a whole, it wasn’t my cup of tea. The main characters, Josh and Lucy, are both extremely toxic and unlikable, so I guess it makes sense that they’re attracted to each other? I don’t know. I feel like I’m missing something, because everyone else seems to love this book, and I just found it very cringey and underwhelming. Oh well, we can’t love ’em all!

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And, there you have it!

My least favorite reads of 2020! Please remember that this post is all in good fun, and that if you liked any of the books listed above, that’s perfectly fine! After all, we each have different tastes when it comes to reading. But… I’m sorry for roasting them so harshly 😂

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you did, feel free to stay tuned for more fun bookish content that will be coming your way soon!

That’s it for now!

Until next time,

WWW Wednesday 2/24/21

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words! Its purpose is to share what you’re currently reading, what you’ve just finished reading, and what you’re going to read next.

I haven’t done a WWW Wednesday post in quite some time, so I’m super thrilled to update you all on what I’ve been reading recently!

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A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas (33% through)

Amazon.com: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses Book 5)  eBook: Maas, Sarah J.: Kindle Store

I’ve been waiting for this book for YEARS, and I can’t believe it’s finally here! I’m nearly a third of the way through, and while the first chunk of it was rather slow and underwhelming, it’s been smooth sailing since I hit the 150 page mark! Nesta is a very flawed character, and I’m incredibly excited to see her go through some fantastic character development in this novel! Sarah J. Maas never fails to amaze me with her astonishing writing, and I know that A Court of Silver Flames will not make an exception! I can tell I’m in for a real treat! Let’s just hope I manage to make it through the next 500 pages without stumbling across any spoilers.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (30% through)

Outlander (series) | The Great American Read | WTTW Chicago

Like ACOSF, Outlander is a very long book. While I was intimidated by its size going into it, I’m happy to report that I’m enjoying it quite a lot so far! The atmosphere is rich with historical detail and imagery, and Diana Gabaldon’s writing is some of the best I’ve ever read! I’m really looking forward to continuing on with this series, and knowing that it’s over nine books long, I can tell that I’m in for many wild adventures!

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Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout (25% through)

Amazon.com: Opal: A Lux Novel eBook: Armentrout, Jennifer L.: Kindle Store

Opal is the third book in the Lux series, and reading it has been a lot of fun! It’s such a fluffy, lighthearted book, and while it can be extremely juvenile at times, that’s what makes it so entertaining! Paranormal fantasy/romance has never been my go-to genre (that’s probably why I never had a Twilight phase), but the Lux series has definitely been a welcome change in my normal reading material! Jennifer L. Armentrout is a truly skilled author!

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The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Rating: 3/5)

The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1) by Julia Quinn

The Duke and I was a light, entertaining read! It certainly didn’t knock my socks off, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I mainly read it in anticipation of its TV show adaptation, Bridgerton, which has been getting nothing but praise these past few months! I wonder if I’ll like it more (or less) than the book!

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The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen (Rating: 5/5)

Amazon.com: The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom Book 2) eBook: Jensen,  Danielle L.: Kindle Store

The Traitor Queen was nothing short of a MASTERPIECE! I loved its predecessor, The Bridge Kingdom, but somehow The Traitor Queen managed to be even better! The world, characters, and relationships in it are simply breathtaking, and its plot is driven by endless twists, turns, and surprises! Danielle L. Jensen has definitely made it to my list of favorite authors, and I highly recommend everything she’s written! In short, the Bridge Kingdom series is a must-read for all fantasy lovers!

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A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova

A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers, #1) by Elise Kova

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book as an ARC, and I can’t wait to dive into it! It’ll be my first Elise Kova novel, which is very exciting. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Kova’s writing, so I have a really good feeling about A Trial of Sorcerers! My plan is to start reading it right after I finish ACOSF, which will hopefully be soon!

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Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

I am a MASSIVE Greek Mythology fan, so you can imagine how excited I am to read Lore, Alexandra Bracken’s standalone Medusa-inspired novel! I haven’t gotten the chance to read any reviews for this one, so I honestly have no idea what to expect. But that, in a sense, is a blessing, since I’ll be going into the story with a completely open mind!

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WHAT ARE YOUR WWWS? I’D LOVE TO KNOW!

Feel free to chat with me in the comments! Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? If so, what did you think of them? Or, are any of them on your TBR? Let me know!

Until next time,

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My Favorite Reads of 2020

2020 is finally over (thank goodness), so you know what that means… It’s time for my annual Best Books of the Year list!

The thing is, I was in a really bad reading slump for the first few months of 2020. I honestly don’t think I picked up a book until the beginning of April! But thankfully, I still managed to bounce back and read tons of fantastic books in 2020! I devoured over 100 novels last year, so it’s difficult to narrow them down to a select few favorites, but I’m going to try! I’m not going to be including rereads, because that would defeat the whole purpose of this list, don’t you think? The following books are ones that I discovered this year and fell absolutely IN LOVE with. If you follow me on Bookstagram, you’ve probably seen me gush about them endlessly on my stories and posts! I’ve probably mentioned some of them here on my blog as well! But there are quite a few that I haven’t talked much about, which is why I’m so excited to be sharing this list with you all!

I’ll be listing these books in no particular order. As we all know, I’m an extremely indecisive person, and being forced to rank my favorite books is basically the worst form of torture I can think of. These books were all so good, and while I enjoyed some more than others, ranking them would be wayyyy too stressful. So let’s just… not???

Oh, and just to be clear, these are all books that I READ in 2020, not books that CAME OUT in 2020 (though some of them did)!

Now, with that out of the way… LET’S DIVE RIGHT IN!

Ladies, gents, and gentlefolk, allow me to introduce you to THE BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2020!!!!! Starting with…

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners: Lauren, Christina: 9781501128035: Amazon.com: Books

I picked this book up on a whim with literally no expectations at all, since I’ve read hardly any rom-com novels. But I ended up absolutely LOVING it. Maui is probably my favorite place on the entire planet, so getting to visit the island alongside our main characters, Olive and Ethan, resurfaced so many happy, pre-pandemic memories. Olive and Ethan have such sizzling chemistry, and I’m pretty sure I shipped them from their very first interaction. Their witty banter was charming and hilarious, but Christina Lauren also did a fantastic job of showing us what a healthy relationship looks like through their romance. Olive and Ethan challenge each other in the best ways possible, and throughout the book, they have so many important yet difficult conversations with one another that you don’t often see in the rom-com genre. This meant SO much to me, because I love how we get to see the light hearted, playful side of their romance as well as the serious side. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find another rom-com novel as good as The Unhoneymooners, but it has definitely left me wanting to explore the genre more! As someone who mainly reads fantasy, I’m really happy that I took a leap outside of my comfort zone and decided to read this book! It was absolutely fantastic, and reading it was utter bliss!

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Amazon.com: Defy Me (Shatter Me Book 5) (9780062676405): Mafi, Tahereh:  Books

It’s impossible to put my love for this book into words… It took me completely by surprise! I was quite scared to pick up Defy Me, because I had heard from other fans of the Shatter Me series that it was a very disappointing installment in the series. But I ended up LOVING IT. The tone of Defy Me was far more emotional than the tone of the previous Shatter Me novels, and I think that’s why I loved it so much. There were so many scenes that had me tearing up, and I think that it’s truly incredible when a book is capable of drawing that much emotion out of a reader! Juliette, Warner, and Kenji continue to go through so much wonderful character development in this novel, and getting to read through all of their perspectives was a dream come true. They each have something valuable to contribute to the story, and I know that without a doubt, this book wouldn’t have been the same if it was only told through Juliette’s perspective (I love her, of course, but Warner and Kenji are amazing too)! These characters have my whole heart, and I can’t express how much I love and connect with them. I finished this book weeks ago, but Juliette, Warner, and Kenji are still constantly on my mind, and carry them in my heart everywhere I go. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read another series as beautiful and addictive as this one, and while I understand that it has it’s flaws, it will always be very special to me. I’ll definitely be reading it again in 2021… it’s left me with the WORST book hangover EVER!

One Way or Another by Kara McDowell

Amazon.com: One Way or Another eBook: McDowell, Kara: Kindle Store

I was lucky enough to receive this book as an ARC earlier in the year, and it ended up being one of my favorite books of 2020! With a relatable main character, a swoonworthy love interest, an adorable romance, and phenomenal mental health rep, One Way or Another was the YA contemporary novel of my DREAMS! And guess what? It’s also a Christmas book! What could be better than that? Pretty much nothing, if you ask me! I flew through One Way or Another in just one sitting, the endless fun, hilarity, and charm of the story giving it a sort of addictive quality. Paige, our protagonist, was someone I could really relate to, and it felt so good to see some of my own inner struggles mirrored through her. Overall, this book is simply fantastic, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, regardless of whether it’s the holiday season or not! Even though it’s a Christmas novel, One Way or Another is a book that can be enjoyed any time of year (I should know, I read it in August)!  Its heartwarming themes, fabulous mental health rep, and wholesome romance all make it an absolutely spectacular story. I truly cannot recommend it enough!

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoaka

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoaka is yet another 2020 release that I received as an ARC last year! And guess what? It was BREATHTAKING! I have only just begun to dip my toe into YA contemporary these past few months, but Everything I Thought I Knew showed me just how beautiful and heartbreaking the genre can be. It is a powerful and beguiling story of love, loss, hope, reality, and heartache, and every single second of it was wonderful. It captivated my imagination from the very first page, and before I knew it, I was done with it! I rarely read books in a single sitting, but this one easily made an exception! Shannon Takaoka’s writing is classically stunning, and her words just flow so smoothly across the pages. Not only that, but her characters were so easy to love and relate to, and it was a delight to see them develop throughout the novel. All in all, this book was simply fantastic, and whether you’re a contemporary reader or not, I HIGHLY encourage giving it a read!

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s trilogy really snuck up on me in 2020! I’d known about it for quite awhile, but for some reason, I never felt strongly about picking it up. What a fool I was, because this trilogy was FANTASTIC! It’s one of those series that just gets better and better every book, and that’s why the third book, The Winner’s Kiss, made it on this list! It was the perfect finale to this wonderful trilogy, though I will confess, there were times where I was FURIOUS at Marie Rutkoski for messing with my emotions so much! I didn’t realize how attached I’d become to our main characters, Kestrel and Arin, until they were forced to go through so much devastation in this novel. They’re easily two of my all time favorite characters, as they are both so thoughtfully written! I love them AND the Winner’s trilogy endlessly… I can definitely see myself rereading it in the future!

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

Wow! Just wow. Reading Aurora Rising reminded me how much I LOVE science fiction! It was my first Kaufman-Kristoff novel, and I couldn’t be more impressed by it! It’s one of those rare books that is equally plot-driven AND character-driven. The plot is fueled by constant action, suspense, and wild spaceship chases, making it nearly impossible to put the book down! And the characters??? Oh boy, where do I even start?! They were all so complex and interesting! I think my favorites have to be Kal and Scarlett, but I truly do love all of them. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are both incredibly talented authors, and I’m beyond excited to dive into more of their work in 2021. It’s only a matter of time before I start Aurora Rising’s sequel, Aurora Burning!

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing was a sensational conclusion to the Folk of the Air trilogy! Jude and Cardan are some of my all-time favorite characters, and I love how even in this final installment, Holly Black never shied away from writing them out to be extremely morally grey. Characters that have a little (or a lot) of wickedness in them are always the ones I find most interesting, and that’s why I adore Jude and Cardan so much! This series has been quite a wild ride, and while I’m terribly said that it’s over, I know that I’ll definitely be re-reading it in the future! If you haven’t read it yet, you MUST! It’s such an enchanting, magical series that will leave you with the WORST book hangover once you finish it. Holly Black is a truly amazing author, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us was such an entertaining read! It had a fast-moving plot, addictive romance, and fascinating characters. The protagonist, Alessandra, was downright EVIL, and I absolutely loved that. Like I mentioned before, I always find myself most drawn to characters who are morally grey, and that’s exactly was Alessandra was! She was calculating, selfish, and violent, but all the same, I was so intrigued by her character. Would I want to be friends with someone like Alessandra in real life? Well, probably not. But I LOVED getting to read through her perspective, as she was such a fun character to get to know! I highly recommend The Shadows Between Us if you’re looking for a short, captivating story that will have you hooked until the very last page!

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Amazon.com: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth Duology, 1)  (9781250307781): Grace, Adalyn: Books

All the Stars and Teeth is the fantasy novel I never knew I needed, for it contains ALL of my favorite fantastical elements. Princesses, mermaids, pirates, magic, sea monsters, curses… What’s not to love?! Nothing, if you ask me! I loved every single second of this book, and by the time I finished it, I felt so close with the four main characters: Amora, Vataea, Bastian, and Ferrick. They were all so different and complex, I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. I swear, if anything bad happens to them in the upcoming sequel, All the Tides of Fate, I WILL SCREAM!!

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Danielle L. Jensen is one of the new authors I discovered in 2021, and I am simply in awe of her work! So far, my favorite book by her is Stolen Songbird. It took my breath away with its vivid world building, sizzling romance, and complex characters. Cecile and Tristan, our main characters, were both very easy to root for, and the chemistry they had with one another was so addictive! The magic system in this novel is spectacularly developed as well, as it completely debunks everything you think you know about certain mythical creatures. This was such a thoughtful and unique approach for Danielle L. Jensen to take, and it’s especially impressive since Stolen Songbird is her debut novel. In short, if you’re searching for a delightful fantasy novel that will allow you to escape reality for a few hours, Stolen Songbird is definitely the book for you!

What a wonderful reading year!

I know that as a whole, 2020 was an absolutely horrendous year, but I feel extremely lucky that I managed to find solace in so many wonderful books amidst all the confusion and chaos. It is my sincerest hope that you all were able to enjoy some fantastic reads last year too!

Cheers to a better 2021!

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Bookish Resolutions

Hello fellow book lovers! I know this past week has been stressful for many of us, but I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy!

Top Ten Tuesday (also known as T10T, TTT) is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in a lonnnnnng time, but today’s prompt sounded like a lot of fun, so I knew I had to participate!

If you haven’t already seen the title of this post, the topic of the day is 2021 Bookish Resolutions! I have so many fun bookish resolutions for this year, and I’m thrilled to be sharing them with you all! Let’s just dive right in!

1. Read More Diversely

Until a few months ago, I’d never really been one to read a certain book based off of the race of its author. A book is a book, right? WRONG! 2020 taught me that reading books written by authors of color and LGBT+ authors is wildly important, because how else will we help their voices be heard? It is critical to take race into account when you pick up a book; reading stories written exclusively by straight, white authors limits you to experiencing a single group’s dominate perspective. Reading stories by groups who have been historically underrepresented in literature exposes you to NUMEROUS different perspectives, each of which will help you become more aware of the struggles others face due to their identities. In 2021, I definitely want to diversify my shelves and pick up more #OwnVoices stories. There are so many great ones out there, and I can’t wait to read them!

2. Buy Less, Borrow More

In 2020, I bought way too many books. I know it’s not great for my wallet or the environment, so in 2021, I want to borrow more books from my local library, rather than buying all of them. I love collecting books and displaying them on my bookshelves, so I know that this resolution will be a challenge for me… But I can do it! I’ve already put a couple of series on hold from the library, so I’m off to a good start. And these are series that I’d otherwise buy 😂 So far, so good, I guess!

3. Buy Fewer Books From Amazon

I’ve always purchased a majority of my books from Amazon, since that’s where they’re the cheapest. But until a few months ago, I’d never really thought about HOW or WHY books are so cheap there. A $20 hardcover from Barnes & Noble is only $14 on Amazon? It just doesn’t add up. That’s because Amazon completely rips off publishers and convinces us consumers that $14 for a hardcover is NORMAL. Guess what? It’s not. I know purchasing books from Amazon is cheap and convenient, and I have absolutely no judgement for anyone who isn’t financially secure enough to purchase books at higher prices from other retailers. But if you’re able to, maybe sacrifice those cheap prices and spend a few more bucks on a book that you know is coming from a more ethical source. Amazon is greatly harming the publishing industry, and smaller, indie bookshops need our support!

4. Don’t Fall Into a Reading Slump

I can never seem to get through a year without falling into some sort of reading slump. In 2020, I didn’t pick up a book until late MARCH, and by that time, nearly a fourth of my reading year had gone to waste. If I hadn’t been in a slump for those three months, I would’ve been able to read so many more books! That’s why this year, I’m going to try realllllllly hard not to fall into a slump. And thankfully, since I now have a lot of experience dealing with slumps, I know the best ways to get out of them. This, for me, is usually picking up an old favorite and rereading it. So, if I fall into a reading slump this year, I’ll just pick up a copy of The Cruel Prince, Cinder, The Selection, Shatter Me, or The Hunger Games, and hopefully that’ll help me get out of it!

5. Complete My Goodreads Challenge Goal of 125 Books

I read 100 books in 2020, and remember, I didn’t read my first book until late March. So unless I fall into another 3-month long slump in 2021, I think 125 books should be pretty manageable! To complete my reading goal, I’ll have to read 10 or 11 books each month… That doesn’t sound too bad to me!

6. Read What Makes Me Happy

In the past, I’ve made bookish New Year’s resolutions to explore genres outside of my comfort zone, like non-fiction and classics. But looking back on it now, I kind of regret doing so. While reading new types of literature can certainly be beneficial, there’s no reason to do so unless you have a really strong desire to. Genres like fantasy and science fiction are what make me happy, so I don’t want to force myself to try something new just for the sake of it. Reading is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, so I’m going to stick to reading the genres I love most! If I happen to pick up a classic or two this year, that’s great! But if not, that’s fine too.

7. Listen to More Audiobooks

Near the end of 2020, I started listening to audiobooks, and since then, they’ve helped me become a much more productive reader! You can listen to them while cooking, cleaning, getting ready, walking… the possibilities are endless! I want to continue listening to audiobooks this year, because they’ll definitely help me reach my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal faster!

8. Prioritize My TBR… Not Re-reads

This is probably the most difficult resolution on this list. What can I say, I LOVE rereading my favorite comfort books since I KNOW I’m going to enjoy them. Last year, my ratio of re-reads to new reads was about 1:4… and there’s nothing wrong with that! But in 2021, I really want to focus on discovering NEW favorites rather than constantly re-reading old favorites. I own so many unread books that I’ve been putting off reading for far too long, and there are also plenty of books I don’t own that I’d still love to read this year! It’s going to be a challenge to resist re-reading all of my favorite series, but my TBR comes first!

9. Get Better at Eliminating Distractions While Reading

When I read, I constantly get distracted. Usually, the distraction is my phone/social media. I open Instagram to simply respond to a DM, and the next thing I know, I’ve been on the app for half an hour! In order to get better at staying focused while I read, I want to keep my phone in another room where it won’t distract me! Hopefully that will help me get better at reading for long periods of time without getting distracted.

10. Continue to Expand My Bookstagram Account

In 2020, my bookstagram account (@the_book_mermaid) went through a lot of growth, and I’m hoping to continue that growth in 2021! Bookstagram is such a fun, positive place full of people who love reading just as much as I do, and because of that, it has a great impact of my mental health. Just being able to gush about my favorite series with other book nerds makes me so happy! That’s why I’m really looking forward to expanding my Bookstagram account more this year!

What about you?

Do you have any bookish resolutions for 2021? If so, let me know what they are down in the comment section!

Until next time,

The 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

Hello everyone!

I’m officially on winter break, so I thought the perfect way to celebrate that would be to participate in the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag, originally created by Lizzie Loves Books!

Let’s dive right in!

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE.

The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favorite stand alone?

I’ve read so many amazing standalones, but To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo takes the cake! Everything from the fascinating morally grey characters to the addictive enemies-to-lovers romance was PERFECT! To Kill a Kingdom was a wonderful standalone, but sometimes I wish it was a series instead 😂 I just didn’t want the book to end!

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ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TWO TURTLE DOVES.

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman

I was tempted to answer this question with a more well-known ship like Feyre and Rhys, Will and Tessa, or Jude and Cardan, but then I thought: NO! Why not shed some light on a bookish ship that deserves way more attention than it gets: Lilac and Tarver from the Starbound trilogy! You probably haven’t heard of these two, but trust me, they are literally the CUTEST together. Their romance is so sweet, beautiful, and wholesome!!! ❤❤❤

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ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: THREE FRENCH HENS.

In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?

Pin on YA Books Read

This is going to sound so basic, but… The Hunger Games. It’ll always been one of my favorites series of all time, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of rereading it! I love all of the characters so much, especially my precious babies Finnick and Peeta. 🥺

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ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FOUR CALLING BIRDS.

Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favorite series?

You didn’t expect me to only pick ONE, did you?

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ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FIVE GOLDEN RINGS.

One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?

Levana Blackburn | Lunar chronicles, A court of mist and fury, Sarah j maas

Queen Levana Blackburn from the Lunar Chronicles has always fascinated me. Like any other wicked YA antagonist, she is cruel, heartless, and self-serving… but she also has tons of layers that make her so interesting to read about. When I read Fairest, the LC prequel that tells Levana’s origin story, I learned so much more about her character. Fairest didn’t make me forgive her for all of the horrific things she did as Queen of Luna, but it definitely helped me understand her motives and desires more. Props to Marissa Meyer for crafting a complicated villain with so many interesting dimensions!

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ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SIX GEESE A LAYING.

Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favorite world/world-building?

Amazon.com: The Queen of Blood: Book One of The Queens of Renthia  (9780062474094): Sarah Beth Durst: Books

I just LOVE the world-building in The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst. It is so enchanting and intricate, and I wish more people knew about it! Fantasy worlds tend to all blur together (they are oftentimes quite similar), but the magic system in The Queen of Blood is so original and unique. If you haven’t read this book yet, I definitely recommend giving it a go!

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ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING.

Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favorite animal sidekick?

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman

I absolutely love the Bindle Cat from The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner! I’ve been a cat lover my whole life, so when a book contains a feline sidekick, I’m already obsessed with it.

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ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: EIGHT MAIDS A MILKING.

Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

Keepers of the Lost City by Shannon Messenger | Lost city, Lost, City

The Keeper of the Lost Cities series is set in magical, Elven cities with the most delicious foods! All of the incredible baked goods and desserts of the Lost Cities are simply MOUTH-WATERING to read about! One of my favorite treats from the series is mallowmelt: a scrumptious dessert bar that consists of gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate chips! The author actually created a recipe for this dessert, so if you’d like to make it, you can find it here!

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ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: NINE LADIES DANCING.

Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favorite kickass female lead?

Kestrel | Winner'scursetrilogy Wiki | Fandom

I absolutely love Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse series! She is such a clever, strategic female lead!

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ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TEN LORDS A LEAPING.

How about your favorite leading lad?

Percy Jackson | Riordan Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia | Percy jackson art,  Percy jackson quiz, Percy jackson

Of course, I had to go with none other than Percy Jackson for this prompt! The PJO series is what made me fall in love with reading in the first place, as I was instantly enchanted by Percy’s charming and witty narration!

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ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: ELEVEN PIPES PIPING.

What is your favorite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen is one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time, and its main character, Cecile, is an opera singer! Cecile’s connection with music is such a beautiful aspect of the book, and it’s partially why I loved getting to read from her POV so much!

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ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: 12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING.

Drum roll please…what is your favorite read of this year?

Defy Me (Shatter Me Series #5) by Tahereh Mafi, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Gosh, I’ve read so many fantastic books this year, it’s hard to choose just one favorite! But I think I’m going to have to go with Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. I’m aware that a lot of people didn’t enjoy the last three Shatter Me books (Restore Me, Defy Me, and Imagine Me) as much as the first three (Shatter Me, Unravel Me, and Ignite Me), but Defy was my favorite book in the whole series! It was such an emotional read, and after I finished it, I just sat in silence for hours, literally contemplating my own existence… THAT is how much I loved this book! The characters in this series have my whole heart, and it was fantastic getting to see them go through so much growth and development in Defy Me!

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I Tag:

Alexandra @ Reading By Starlight

Michaela @ Journey Into Books

Julie @ One Book More

Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm

Lori @ The Reading Fairy

Anyone else who would like to participate!

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This tag was tons of fun!! I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, and with that, I’ll see you soon!

Until next time,

November 2020 Book Haul

Please tell me that I’m not the only one who has been buying wayyyyy too many books during quarantine! It’s always been a sort of coping mechanism for me (buying books = happiness), but these past few months have taken my book buying obsession to a whole new level. But I’m actually very good at reading the books I buy instead of letting them sit unread on my shelves, so I know that these purchases were worthwhile. In fact, I’ve already read some of the books in this haul!

I’m so excited to share all of these marvelous books with you all, so without further ado, let’s begin!

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Fable by Adrienne Young

Synopsis:

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

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In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Synopsis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

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Crave by Tracy Wolff

Synopsis:

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally―as the bait.

(Alexandra… Don’t hate me if I end up loving this book 😂)

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The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen

Synopsis:

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Synopsis

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

NOBODY PANIC.

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Finale by Stephanie Garber

Synopsis

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end.

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A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Is Love Stronger Than Vengeance?

A Betrayal… Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice….Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

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Oath Taker by Audrey Grey

Synopsis:

After the Prince of Penryth saved her from captivity, seventeen-year-old Haven Ashwood spends her days protecting the kind prince and her nights secretly fighting the monsters outside the castle walls. When one of those monsters kidnaps Prince Bell, Haven must ally with Archeron Halfbane and his band of immortals to rescue her friend. Her quest takes her deep into the domain of a warped and vicious queen where the rules are simple: break her curse or die.Lost in a land of twisted magic and fabled creatures, Haven finds herself unprepared, not just for the feelings she develops for Archeron, but for the warring powers raging inside her. Her rare and forbidden type of magic may be their only hope . . . but mixing light and dark comes with a steep price. Haven’s soul.Faced with impossible love, heartbreaking betrayals, and a queen intent on destroying the realm, only one thing remains certain. Haven must shatter the curse or it will devour everything she loves.

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I am SO excited to read all of these books! I PROMISE I won’t buy any more until I finish these ones… At least I’ll try?

Have you read any of the books on this list? If so, what did you think of them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Well, I suppose that’s it for now! I hope you all enjoyed this book haul 🙂

Until next time,